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What Point Is Jezebel.com Trying to Make By Offering $10K to See Lena Dunham's Un-Retouched Photos?

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I have an uneasy feeling - like the time I decided to back the wrong friend over who stole the other's Sherbet Straws in school - but I vehemently disagree with Jezebel's offer to pay Vogue $10,000 to see Lena Dunham's unretouched photos from its cover shoot.

To catch you up: The Girls star recently hit headlines because critics felt the headshot chosen by Vogue was typical of what they (and other fashion magazines such as Elle) do with non-models or celebrities who aren't a size 6 - namely to do the arty headshot or to swamp them in a giant coat. Reference: Melissa McCarthy, Mindy Kaling and Adele.

But while I'm all up for freedom of speech, this just feels like a step too far - like a bullying girl in the playground, or the saddo gimmicks Ryanair pulls like threatening to implement fat tax on planes.

Jezebel say that this isn't about wanting to see what the real Lena looks like, rather "This is about Vogue, and what Vogue decides to do with a specific woman who has very publicly stated that she's fine just the way she is, and the world needs to get on board with that."

I'm sorry, what?

Maybe in some parallel universe Vogue is a magazine for 'real women', but in this one, it's a hyper real version of beauty that mixes art with fashion. I realise I'm putting words into the mouth of Anna Wintour, but as someone who buys a wide variety of magazines including Vogue, I buy it because it's a form of escapism not because I identify with the women on its pages.

Yes, they sometimes go too far - straying into the realms of tastelessness eg, oil slick shoots and using beggars as props - but no person in their right mind assumes that Vogue is for the every(wo)man.

To my mind, leading up to cervical cancer week, Jezebel would be better off donating that $10K (if indeed they actually have it) to women's cancer charities, or how about to something that makes a difference to this world, such as domestic violence centres?

I realise Jezebel are trying to prove a point, but I think we need to ask ourselves what point they are trying to make. If this really is about 'real' women, then hey, why bother wearing make-up? Surely me caking my face in foundation is a betrayal of feminist values because I'm presenting a fake, unrealistic version of myself?

So here's a thought.

Let's do something different and credit Lena with a brain. Yes she's a real woman and is vocal about that, but she also knows what type of publication Vogue is.

The fact is that some women's magazines get it wrong, and there is a very valid argument for presenting celebrities as these flawless goddesses when they aren't. But I don't believe she would blindly walk into Vogue's photoshoot without knowing what she was getting herself into.

Getting a Vogue cover, however too cool for school you may be, is a big deal.

For Jezebel to just keep ragging at it is not making a statement. It's kind of like going up to this girl you really like and respect and saying: "Hey, so obviously your Vogue cover was a big deal. You looked great but we think they should have published the pictures of you looking more real (translation: worse than you do in the magazine). Because there's no way you can look that good without tonnes and tonnes of Photoshop."

If you were that girl, would you thank these loudmouths for taking on such a noble cause, or would you kindly want them to shut up?

I'll leave Lena to conclude. As she said on Twitter about it: "Some shit is just too ridiculous to engage. Let's use our energy wisely, 2014."

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